Deaf at 4 from scarlet fever. No schools for the deaf then existed in Finland, so he received private tutoring from Oscar Malm, himself a deaf person educated in Stockholm, then attended the Manilla Institute in Sweden. Worked in a surveyor's office, then learned the art of the new field of photography. He opened his first photography studio in 1862 in Helsinki. The following year, his mentor Carl Malm died, and Hirn took his place as a teacher in a new school for the deaf that was opened in Turku. He also relocated his photo studio there, and his wife, Maria Lovisa Hirn (q.v.) joined him in the photography business, eventually taking over the studio and running it herself. He retired in 1897 to Helsinki. In 1910, he posed for his wife's photographs that were used to pruduce Finland's first dictionary of sign language, but died before that project was complete.
13 May 1834-__ December 1910